Pro-Gun Punditry: Wednesday's Buckeye State Roundabout

There are more stories pertaining to our gun rights in Ohio then we can possibly draw attention to with individual daily commentary. But they are worthy of mention.

What follows is our weekly review of headlines from around the state though a pro-gun rights lens.

From the withdrawal of two pro-gun politicians from political races to a criminal who used the Cleveland Plain Dealer's classified ads to target his victims, this article deserves be a part of your required reading!

Click on the "Read More..." link below for seven days of headlines accompanied by short, concise pro-gun analysis.

Thursday in Cleveland: Pete Draganic to withdraw from race

    Seven Hills, Ohio – February 9, 2006 – It is with great regret that I, Pete Draganic, am withdrawing my candidacy for Governor of Ohio.

    It has been one year and three days since I officially launched my campaign for the Ohio Governor’s office. Throughout this time, I have been tremendously honored by the support I have received from so many of my fellow Ohioans. I hope that I have not let them down in my decision.

    I am especially thankful to those who have endeavored to include me as a candidate in their forums on an equal footing with my better-known opponents. Your actions are true to the fundamental ideals that have made this nation great, the freedom of choice and the free exchange of ideas.

    I am blessed by the love, support and involvement that my family has shown throughout the entire process. I could not have accomplished as much without the dedication that my wife Lisa has put forth and without the support of my children.

    I have seen both the ugliness and the beauty of politics and my life has been enriched as a result.

    Most importantly, I have been afforded the opportunity to demonstrate that one simple man can make a stand and a difference, albeit difficult, it is not impossible. I beg of everyone to cast off apathy. Be active, informed and willing to contribute to the betterment of all.

    My consolation is the knowledge that I stood up for what I believe is right and true, against seemingly insurmountable odds. I have broken through many barriers that others like me could not and hopefully I have ignited a spark of hope for those that follow. I have no regrets.

    Ohio will remain in my prayers and its future in my dreams.

While the run for governor as his first candidacy for public office was a long-shot, there are not doubt many northeast Ohio gun owners eager to see Pete Draganic's name listed as a candidate for another office in the near future.

Thursday in Columbus: Caught On Tape: Man Attacks Clerk Over Ice Cream

    A local store clerk is recovering from a severe beating while police search for the man they said attacked him over ice cream. The incident was caught on tape as a verbal altercation began and erupted into a physical attack, NBC 4's Erin Tate reported. The attack occurred on a busy Sunday morning inside a United Dairy Farmer's store on North High Street. While a few customers were waiting in line for ice cream, police said three men entered the store to buy beer. "After completing that transaction, the male black indicated he wanted some ice cream. We don't know what his motive was or what set him off, but he jumped over the counter and attacked the store clerk," said Sgt. Mike Woods, of Columbus police. Before the assault, surveillance video showed the suspect getting visibly upset with the clerk. He began yelling and making hand gestures. Within minutes, the suspect is seen tackling the clerk to the ground and repeatedly punching the back of his head. The assault lasted less than 30 seconds. That's when the suspect's friends came back into the store and yelled for him to leave -- without getting any ice cream. "I don't believe he got his ice cream. He got a little impatient," Woods said. The clerk suffered a large gash on his nose and noticeable swelling to his head. He has since returned to work. Photos of the wanted man have been posted at the store. Anyone with information about the assault near The Ohio State University campus shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (614) 645-TIPS.

"We are sorry if UDF lost your business! The Shareholders and Senior Management felt the SAFEST policy for Customer and Employees would be to post our stores for No Concealed Carry. Personally, as a 34 year police veteran, I agree with the decision!" - John W. Osborne, Director of Security, United Dairy Farmers

Friday in Cincinnati: Women Turn To Self-Defense Classes In Wake Of Double Assault

    Sheriff's offices around the Tri-State are fielding the demand for self-defense instruction in the wake of a double sexual assault over the weekend. Two workers were attacked inside a model home in a new subdivision, so other suburban women have been preparing themselves should they face the same situation. "It...probably took a little bit of my sense of security away, and I didn't even realize it was something I should be aware of each and every time I go out to the public," Cheryl Suding said. She's one of a group of women who attended a self-defense class in Butler County on Thursday. The bottom line is that there really are no rules to survive," Deputy Steve Vollmar said. "That's the key, and (what) we want them to do is survive." His office is helping women to take steps in protecting themselves, including being alert in public, learning the best way to disable an attacker and how to better their odds should they come face to face with someone who means them harm. "I can really see myself hesitating, and this was very valuable just to know that I need to be on top of that," Suding said. Although some of the women said they were afraid, they also displayed a resolve that they wouldn't be attacked without putting up a fight. "I'm a concealed carry permit holder," Christine Geisen said. "I've been mentally preparing. I've taken some classes. This incident definitely rattled me. … I'm just not going to be a victim."

Unfortunately for many of these women who have finally realized the need for self-defense and obtain their concealed handgun license, they are about to discover that many employers will deny them their human right to protect themselves in the workplace. Ohio law and company policies should be changed to give the advantage to would-be victims, not their criminal attackers.

Saturday in Cleveland: Robbery victims were picked from the classified ads

    A 22-year-old robber found his victims in the classified ads. Police say the East Cleveland man browsed The Plain Dealer's Lost and Found section for reward offers, called up people saying he had their lost pets or jewelry, then robbed them. Police arrested the man Friday but refused to identify him because he had not been charged. At least seven people were victimized. Last month, Ryan White of Cleveland offered a prize for his lost terrier, Elway. A man called White, saying he had the dog and that they should meet on Noble Road so he could return it. After a series of confusing calls, White and his fiancée finally met the man, who claimed the pet was in an abandoned garage. As they drove in White's car, the man pulled a gun and robbed the couple of $10 and a cell phone. "I should have noticed something wrong," White said. Elway is still missing. Other victims have come forward from Strongsville, Cleveland Heights, and Chagrin Falls. One victim looking for a parrot instead was robbed of $1,000. A couple seeking a diamond ring was taken for $100.
    Police began tracking the man and identified a suspect. They placed their own ad as bait seeking a lost pendant, Chief Pat Lane said. The suspect called a detective Thursday saying he had the pendant. Police planned a sting for Monday, but before then two elderly women were robbed of $260 Friday morning. The women recognized the suspect's picture, and officers arrested him at his house.

This isn't supposed to happen. Time and again, when told that publishing lists of gun owners (CHL-holders) would provide criminals lists of homes from which to steal guns, the media responded by saying that criminals just weren't smart enough to utilize the newspaper to premeditate their crimes or select their targets. The Akron Beacon Journal has called it a "flimsy presumption", and Gannett News Columbus Bureau Chief Jim Siegel said warnings about the dangers of publishing the list of CHL-holders "elevate these criminals to a level of sophistication they very likely do not possess..." Even Attorney General Jim Petro called such a scenario "a stretch". Right...

Tuesday in Cincinnati: Hackett drops out of Senate race, leaving politics

    Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran and popular Democratic candidate in Ohio's closely watched Senate contest, said Monday that he was dropping out of the race and leaving politics altogether as a result of pressure from party leaders. He said Sens. Charles E. Schumer of New York and Harry Reid of Nevada, the same party leaders who he said persuaded him last August to enter the Senate race, had pushed him to step aside so that Rep. Sherrod Brown, a longtime member of Congress, could take on Sen. Mike DeWine, the Republican incumbent.... For the past two weeks, he said, state and national Democratic Party leaders have urged him to drop his Senate campaign and again run for Congress. "This is an extremely disappointing decision that I feel has been forced on me," said Hackett, whose announcement comes two days before the state's filing deadline for candidates. He said he was outraged to learn that party leaders were calling his donors and asking them to stop giving and said he would not enter the 2nd District congressional race.

Put this in among the stack of evidence the despite new lip-service in favor of gun rights, Democrats still do not understand the potential for a pro-gun Democrat to beat an anti-gun Republican. Mike DeWine's name is anethema among gun owners, and these political leaders have missed a real opportunity to give gun owners a chance to vote to put a pro-gun Democrat in the U.S. Senate.

Tuesday in Dayton: Police: Charter School Student Caught With Unloaded Gun

    Authorities said teachers called police after making a dangerous discovery in a student’s lunch box. School officials at Richard Allen Academy said a 10-year-old had an unloaded 9-millimeter handgun in his lunch box on Friday. The child said he took the gun to school to scare bullies. The incident has the student’s parents worried. Tara Hatch said, “I’m really afraid now, but I am going to find out about this. I thank you for letting me know.” The charter school said it has a zero-tolerance policy. At this time, there is no word on the student’s punishment.

It only takes a 10 year-old to show why gun bans to not create "gun-free" zones.

Tuesday in Findlay: Gilb reverses decision to run for Oxley seat

    One of the first Republicans to declare himself a candidate for Mike Oxley's congressional seat has withdrawn from the race. State Rep. Mike Gilb (R., Findlay) said continuing his campaign for the 4th Congressional District would not be in the best interest of promoting party unity. A business and tax attorney in Findlay, Mr. Gilb is in his third term representing Ohio's 76th House District. He does not intend to seek re-election to that post.

Ohio gun owners still have a most excellent opportunity to send current state Sen. Jim Jordan to Washington in the 4th Congressional District.

Wednesday in Cincinnati: DNA links model home attacker to 6 cases, authorities say

    After 14 years, the assailant dubbed the "blue-eyed rapist" is in custody, said officials Tuesday during a media conference in Northern Kentucky. David S. Hopper, the suspect in the Franklin Township model home assault, officially has been linked by DNA to six other assaults and robberies, authorities said. "We have a considerable amount of evidence in all these cases, but the DNA will be the strongest link," said Dan Kreinest, Fort Wright police chief. In each case, Hopper attacked and robbed women, generally who worked alone. He is a strong suspect in at least four other cases, according to representatives from 17 law enforcement agencies — including the Warren County Sheriff's Office — tied to the multi-state investigation who attended Tuesday's joint media conference. Investigators refused to disclose which six cases were genetically linked to Hopper. The 42-year-old Kentucky man — a Knothole baseball coach and umpire — was arrested Thursday near his Millstream Place home for robbing and sexually assaulting two Ryan Home employees Feb. 4 inside a Greycliff Landing model home. The Burlington, Ky., truck broker is charged with receiving stolen property in Campbell County (Ky.) and two counts of rape in Warren County. He is being held in the Campbell County Jail on a $500,000 bond. Authorities said Hopper is a prime suspect in 10 area crimes stemming from the past 14 years/

Gun owners became familiar with these cases, also known as the Tri-State region's Retail Rapist, after he victimized several people at places where bearing arms for self-defense is banned. There are more out there like him, and the fact remains that employees' human right to self-defense does not stop at the entrance to their place of work.

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